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Historical development of special education in kenya


Date Posted: 8/3/2020 6:40:12 AM

Posted By: Teacher edna  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 138


Special education is the design and delivery of teaching and learning strategies for individuals with disability or learning difficulties who may not be enrolled in regular schools.
After independence a group of people with disabilities pushed the government to listen to their grievances . In response, the then president Jomo Kenyatta established Kenya education commission chaired by Ominde (1964)to examine the situation of people with disabilities. The commission further recommended that children with mild handicap be integrated to learn with their peers in regular school.
Since then many more commissions have been formed and policy guidelines developed with regard to special needs education some of these include:

1. Committee on care and Rehabilitation of the Disabled chaired by Ngala Mwendwa (1964).
2. National Education Commission on Education objectives and policies (Gachathi report 1976) which recommended increased research to determine the nature and extent of handicaps.
3. Presidential Working committee on Education and training for the next Decade and beyond (Kamunge report 1988) that emphasized and deployment of Special needs education inspectors at the district level.

In addition to the preceding commissions the government further established a special needs education section in the ministry of education in 1975.Institutions such as Kenya institute of special education(KISE) and other special needs departments at Kenyatta, Moi, Maseno universities were established to prepare teachers of special needs education.

In Kenya Special needs education started after the second word war when the church initiated programs to rehabilitate wounded and disabled men during war which later became education institutions. A rehabilitation centre for physically handicapped was opened by the Salvation Army church in 1960. This later become the first school for the

physically handicapped.

The government has made remarkable efforts in expanding education since independence. According to ministry of education 2009,there were 1341 Special units 114 public special schools including vocational and technical institution had been established 2008.

The recent development was the inclusion and integration of children with special needs in the mainstream.The Persons with Disabilities Act of 2003 prohibits discrimination in admission of learners with disabilities mandating learning institutions to accommodate the needs of these students.
Integration simply means admitting children with disabilities to regular schools.
Inclusion requires societies to make physical infrastructure information and the means of communication accessible to all.
Inclusive education presupposes that the education of learners with disabilities should be in mainstream schools where they learn together with other children

Strategies for implementing inclusive education:

1. The government has promoted development of Kenya sign language as an official language.
Ministry of education and will provide funds for adaptation of infrastructure equipment and facilities in learning institutions.
2. Kenya national examination board (KNEC) shall mark braille scripts directly without debrailling them.
3. Ministry of education shall create awareness among teachers and learners both with or without disabilities and other members of the society on inclusive education.
4. Kenya institute of education(KIE) shall review teacher education program in order to impact skills and competences in teaching learners with special needs and disability.
5. Ministry of education shall organise for inservice of teachers on inclusive education.
Curriculum development
6, The government has laid down strategies to adapt the existing curriculum to soot the diverse needs of learners with special education.

These strategies include:
1. Kenya institute of education (KIE) has adapted specialized and regular curriculum for all specialized areas in special needs education monitoring their implementations to ensure sensitivity to needs of learners with disability.
2. Kenya National examination council has designed national examination for learners with special needs as individuals and provide certification to learners with diverse needs.
3. Kenya national examination council shall ensure time allocated to learners with special needs is determined by nature and severity of their disability.
4. Kenya National examination council shall ensure specialized subjects like sign language are examined in all national examinations.

Challenges faced by Kenya in promoting special education

1. Inadequate guidelines on management of special education programs.
2. Inadequate data on children with special needs and disabilities.
3. Inadequate tools and skills in identification and assessment of children with disabilities.
4. Inadequate capacity among teachers to support students with special needs.
5. Lack of coordination among service providers.
6. Inappropriate placement of children with special needs and disability.
7. Inadequate and expensive teaching and learning materials for special needs.

The government of Kenya has made major milestones in improving Special education in Kenya. The new Competency based curriculum has also catered for the needs of learners with special needs in education.

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